Labor Force Participation by Region and Race (ages 25-64)
Description: The bars represent the percentages of people, in the various groups, who are participating in the labor force. The green bars represent the rates of non-Hispanic whites. The orange bars represent the rates of black, Hispanic and Asian individuals. The bars are split into the five regions of the country.
The labor force participation statistic can be highly misleading. It counts retirees and students as "non-participating" and it looks at all non-institutionalized civilians over the age of 15. That approach results in a much lower number, which can be misleading. To mitigate the distortion caused by differing levels of educational attainment and retirement between the regions, this graph looks only at the labor force participation rate of individuals who are between the ages of 25 and 64, since most education occurs before 25 and most retirement occurs after 65.
Sources: Census B23002H, B23002B, B23002I, B23002D
Last updated: March 6, 2016
The entire premise of "makers" and "takers" does not square with the data. The data shows that there are virtually no "takers" in any meaningful sense. When that myth is wrapped up in race, it is especially damaging. The belief that minorities are "takers" and whites are "makers" appears to have become troublingly common. Many comments to that effect, from politicians, pundits and individuals were made following the 2012 election. That premise appears to undergird much of the voter sentiment that is driving the candidacy of Donald Trump. That belief appears to be particularly common among conservative, southern whites. But, it simply isn't grounded in fact at all. It is especially ironic to hear that idea coming from southern whites, since southern whites work slightly less than southern minorities and significantly less than minorities in the nation as a whole.
See more graphs about: Unemployment Diversity
Political and Economic News
Harvard/Tufts: Immigrants use little health care, subsidize care of non-immigrants
Summers: Trump hasn’t prepared us for the inevitable economic slowdown
Chait: Trump Administration Attacking Legal Immigrants Next
WaPo: Trump’s ‘bizarre’ voter fraud panel found none, former member Matthew Dunlap says
Krugman: Stop Calling Trump a Populist